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Volunteer Appreciation Week & Learning to Believe in Myself

Updated: Jun 14, 2023

This week from April 11th to April 17th was Volunteer Appreciation Week at Loma Linda Hospital. I volunteered on April 11th and April 15th and volunteer services made the volunteers breakfast, gave us key chains, candy and we entered a raffle to win a special prize.

On April 11th, I volunteered at Loma Linda Hospital, and I came across the teacher for the children’s hospital. She asked me how I was doing, anything new. I said no, but expressed that I had something for her, which was one of my brochure’s. While she was looking at my brochure I told her I was going to go to my high school on Thursday, (April 14th) and talk to the principle to see if I could speak to the students.

The teacher liked my brochure and said when I speak to the students, I won’t focus on the negatives things that happened to me. She also said good luck and was going to pray for me. At the end of my volunteer shift, the Child Life Assistant also said good luck about me speaking at my high school.

On April 14th, I went to my high school (Silverado High School) to see if I could speak to the students. I spoke to the assistant principle and after I told her I was an inspirational speaker and an alumni of Silverado High School, she directed me to the schools Associated Student Body (ASB) office. When I got to the ASB office, I spoke to the advisor and told her I was an inspirational speaker and a Silverado alumni class of 2003.

I told her I was a two-time cancer survivor during my teen years when I was 14 and 17 years old. I’m a hip amputee and walk with a prosthetic leg. She asked if I had a business card and a website, and of course I said I had both. I gave her a business card and a few brochures. She said she would contact me when they have something available to allow me to speak. After my visit at my high school, I decided to make flyers and look for more opportunities in the High Desert such as other high schools, Victor Valley College and community centers.

On April 15th, I volunteered at Loma Linda Hospital and gave one of my fellow volunteer colleagues one of my business cards and a brochure. While she was reading, I told her that I’m an inspirational speaker. She said she didn’t know that I graduated from California State University, Long Beach and congratulated me. She began to ask me questions about my experience with cancer, and she couldn’t believe I’ve been through so much as such a young age.

I showed her pictures of when I was battling cancer from my phone, and I showed her my PowerPoint Presentation. Half way through the PowerPoint, she said I should have music playing in the background. I told her I have another PowerPoint that has music and videos from the inFAMOUS video game franchise.

She then asked me which PowerPoint would I prefer to present. I told her I’d like to present the PowerPoint with music and videos from inFAMOUS. My inFAMOUS Introduction video has some vulgar language, about nine curse words in 5 minutes and 35 seconds (inFAMOUS is rated “T” for Teen by the Entertainment Software Rating Board, (ESRB). I want people to not focus on the vulgar language that the game has, but more on the message about how the game helped me).

Towards the end of the PowerPoint, I have a slide called Darryl and Cole Comparison… and when she saw that slide she noticed the similarities of Cole and I. For example, I have an image/screenshot from the introduction of the first inFAMOUS game where Cole is in the hospital hooked up to an IV pole with his girlfriend Trish and best friend Zeke are by his bedside. I also have a picture of me when I was in the hospital hooked up to an IV pole with my Grandmother and Uncle by my bedside.

I told her the image from the beginning of inFAMOUS came out in 2009, and the picture taken of me while I was in the hospital was from 1999 to 2000. When I first played inFAMOUS in 2009, I thought about that picture that was taken many years before, and I saw the comparison back then (the images of the Darryl and Cole Comparison… is located under the photos tab).

I also showed my colleague the beginning of my other PowerPoint which starts off the first slide with Nas’ Stillmatic (The Intro) song playing in the background. After 22 seconds, the first slide flashes into the second slide and the inFAMOUS video montage begins to play.

When the music began, she asked who was this because he sounds familiar. I told her it was Nas, and she said yea he has deep lyrics. While looking at the inFAMOUS montage, she said the game looks like a movie and said she could tell this is a super hero game. She liked everything I showed her, and it felt good to receive a good reaction from somebody who has never seen my PowerPoint.

* The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One that I donated a couple months ago is finally and officially available for the teen patients. The hospital put both consoles on a rolling cart so the teens could take it to their room and play. Check out the picture below.

* I have an image of the flyers that I’m going to post around the High Desert. Check it out below.

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